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Volkswagen has introduced the sound design for the ID.3

Electric vehicles can barely be heard, especially at low speeds, which is why they pose an increased risk of accidents, particularly for pedestrians. That is why, as from July 2019, all newly registered electric vehicles in the EU have to generate an artificial driving sound when travelling at speeds of up to 30 km/h in order to alert other road users of their presence. This opens up a rare opportunity for manufacturers to develop a unique brand-specific sound image. “The sound,” explains Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design, “gives the electric vehicle its own voice, which we can design ourselves completely independently of mechanical noises.” Volkswagen has taken advantage of this opportunity and given the ID.3 model planned for 2020 its very own sound, which is emitted as the vehicle begins to move, when travelling at speeds up to 30 km/h and when reversing. According to Bischoff, e-vehicles have the opportunity to “reinterpret tranquillity”, which is why a completely new digital sound has been created for the interior. In the future, the driver will be greeted with an acoustic signal after getting into the ID.3, as if the car were saying: “Hello, I’m ready, let’s go.” The acoustic signal is also combined with a light pulse. The sound was developed together with composer and music producer Leslie Mandoki, who is known to a wider audience mainly as a former member of the pop band Genghis Khan, and who has worked with Audi and Mercedes in the past. “An electric vehicle’s sound defines its identity. The sound should be confident and likeable. It can have a futuristic sound and must also impress with its unique character,” explains Dr. Frank Welsch, Chief Development Officer of the Volkswagen brand.

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